Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s lieutenant arrested for DUI

September 16, 2019


CHP officers arrested a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s custody lieutenant Saturday night on suspicion of drunken driving following a head-on crash on Highway 154 that left seven people injured.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Lt. Javier Antunez, 44, was driving a BMW eastbound near Lake Cachuma when he crashed head-on into a westbound Toyota Tacoma driven by Enrique Calderon-Mendez, 43, of Santa Barbara.

Also headed westbound, a 28-year-old Santa Barbara woman in a Jeep crashed into the back of the Toyota. She suffered minor injuries.

Both Antunez and his passenger, Esther Emiko Trejo, 48, were transported to a local hospital with major injuries.

An air ambulance transported 43-year-old Judith Hall, a passenger in the Toyota, to a hospital for treatment of major injuries. Two other passengers, Dolores Gutierrez, 60, and Evelia Dominguez, 48, both received moderate injuries. The driver, Calderon-Mendez, suffered minor injuries.

Officers arrested Lt. Antunez, a 10-year sheriff’s office employee, for felony driving under the influence and causing injuries. Antunez is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Wow. Another brave, selfless, serving law enforcement professional putting his life on the line.

And yet, he’s human. Mistakes were made.

He obviously needs some training. I’d say he also needs community service, but his work at the jail counts towards this….so basically he should go back to work keeping us safe.

Was he on his way to work or on his way home? It doesn’t say.

But I 100% guarantee this isn’t the first time he’s driven drunk! And it won’t be the last… was just bad luck that some serfs were in the way. Any other day and Lt. Antunez could have written a ticket to those serfs who got in his way.

Let’s all think positive thoughts that he can get back to work soon, because we all need to be policed…..a lot.

Of course he paid….It’s only fair. Yea, right

Commit a felony and severely injure innocent victims, get paid to stay home. What a deal!

No, he is not yet a convicted felon, but once he is he will lose his job and likely get some jail time, plus probation, plus restitution. His pension stops accruing, and at age 44, he won’t see much when he’s eligible to retire (probably at age 55). He will most definitely get what’s coming to him, just like anybody else.

“He will most definitely get what’s coming to him, just like anybody else.”

Don’t bet on it!